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First pregnant man in UK through sperm donation

16 January 2017

By Lone Hørlyck

Appeared in BioNews 884

A 20-year-old man, who was originally born female, is the first in the UK to become pregnant through sperm donation after the NHS refused to pay for egg freezing.  

Hayden Cross has been living as a man for the past three years but has not undergone gender reassignment surgery. He began hormone replacement therapy but wanted to fulfil his wish to have his own genetic child before progressing further with his transition.

'Having a biological child has always meant a lot to me,' he told The Sun. 'I've always wanted kids.'

Cross asked the NHS if his eggs could be frozen so he could have children in the future, but his request was refused. Instead, Cross looked for a sperm donor on Facebook and met a man who provided his sperm for home insemination.

'I looked on Facebook for a group and found one – it's been shut down now. I didn't have to pay,' he said.

Cross said he was disappointed about NHS's refusal to freeze his eggs, which would have given him the opportunity to have children in the future without putting his gender transition on hold: 'I just couldn't face being years down the line and still waiting to transition so that I can have a kid. I wanted the kid now so that I can have the transition before I get old.'

However, Peter Bone MP, argued that the NHS was within its rights to refuse freezing the eggs: 'The NHS has every right to stand by its decision.... If doctors do not feel that is the right time to perform something medically then it should not be done.... The [NHS] is not a bottomless money pit. Resources have to be used wisely, no matter who you are,' he told The Sun.

The cost of gender reassignment on the NHS is on average £29,000, and there are 3000 transgender patients currently undergoing transition. The cost of freezing eggs is around £4000 per cycle.

Although this case is the first in the UK, a number of similar cases have been reported overseas. In the US, Thomas Beatie carried a child in 2008 and is now the father of three children. In Ecuador, a transgender couple had a child together in September, also before completing their transition.

Cross is four months pregnant and plans to proceed with the gender transition, having surgery to remove his breasts and ovaries once he has given birth. In the meantime, his hormonal treatments have been paused. 

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